Greyhound may come to town

City may offer bus line permanent home

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— Greyhound buses have dropped off passengers at the Kum and Go, Alpine Taxi, the Ramada and Taco Bell in Steamboat Springs.

But Greyhound District Manager Mike Timlin said it is hard for these businesses to operate a bus service.

"During the ski season, it gets busy for their businesses and hard to have two businesses out of one location," Timlin said.

Greyhound may soon have a permanent home in Steamboat. Tonight the City Council will consider a contract to house Greyhound Lines, Inc. at the Stockbridge Multi-Modal Center.

"Stockbridge provides a reliable place to catch the bus," City Transportation Director George Krawzoff said. "It is a great connection; you can get off of Greyhound and get the city bus right there."

Under the contract, the center would be a passenger and freight terminal for Greyhound, and a city employee would work at the center during business hours. The employee would sell tickets, but also have time to do work for the city transportation department.

The transit center, on the west side of town off of U.S. Highway 40, was partly intended to host the Greyhound intercity bus.

Timlin estimates 5,000 to 5,500 people a year come into and leave Steamboat through Greyhound. The bus makes two trips in and out of Steamboat per day.

"Greyhound is an important regional connection," Krawzoff said. "This should make it more reliable and easier to use. It is one more transportation option for the citizens and guests of Steamboat."

The transit center would also be a place to accept and deliver freight.

Although the transit center opened in 2000, Timlin said it took longer to iron out the details with the city.

"We have always had an interest in this. But we had to figure out a way to make it work and pay for the employees," Timlin said.

Krawzoff called the deal a win-win situation. Under the contract, the city would get paid at least $45,000 a year to house Greyhound.

The city workers who will work out of the transit center will be funded through a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. The grant is coming into Greyhound and Timlin said the money would then go to fund the employees.

The contract would also have the city receiving a commission for the business that Greyhound does at the transit center. Krawzoff said the city would get a 15 percent commission off the sale of tickets and freight charges.

If the commission does not cover the cost of the salary and benefits of the transit center staff, Krawzoff said Greyhound is committed to the $45,000.

The city does not have anybody working at the building now, but Krawzoff said the employee at the transit center could field questions from people walking into the center and do paperwork such as tallying up bus trips. The presence of the staff could also reduce vandalism and discourage loitering.

The current Greyhound drop off is at Taco Bell. Timlin said the Greyhound bus would continue to stop there as a meal break.

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